When I heard about the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in Las Vegas, I knew I had to do it. I had previously participated in another Rock N Roll Half Marathon in San Antonia, Texas and thought it was so much fun. Vegas has always been somewhere I wanted to visit, and thought what better reason to go than to run. The Rock N Roll Half Marathon took place on November 15, 2015. This event also has a 5k, 10k and marathon. The marathon had the same start time as the half marathon, and the 10k began 30 minutes before the half/marathon start time. The 5k for this series was held on November 14.
Before the start of the 10k, half, and marathon there was the Rock N Roll Marathon concert, with headliner Kid Rock. I did not attend the concert, but I went to my parents hotel in Mandalay Bay and could see the crowd there before hand. There were A LOT of people.
The Rock N Roll Marathon Series is a really popular event in every city it takes place in. To give you an idea, when I went to pick up my bib number at the runners expo, there were numbers going all the way up to 81,000! That is A LOT of runners. The 80,000 includes all the 5k, 10k, half and marathon numbers, but there was around 50,000 runners in the half/marathon start up. I was in corral 29, and only a few corrals had been called to start up before all of the elite runners from the first corral started passing by.
The course started off at Madalay Bay, and ran down along the airport and past the “Welcome to Vegas” sign before turning around to head back towards the strip, which was just about a mile. The second mile was located right past the starting line, and when I got to the mile 2 mark, there were still people waiting in corrals to even start the race. The race started at 4:30 pm, and I didn’t start the race until around 5:15. This means that the last few people to cross the start line probably waited at least 1 ½ hours before starting, because it was around 5:35 when I passed mile 2.
I feel bad for the people that had to wait over an hour to start because it was soooo windy out, and even started raining just after the race began at 4:30. I originally planned on wearing shorts and a tank top, and I am so glad that I ended up buying a long sleeved running shirt while at the expo, because otherwise I would have froze even more than I did before the race started.
So after passing the start line at mile 2, we continued down the Las Vegas Strip all the way to Downtown Las Vegas. My dad even hopped in and ran with me for a couple of miles from mile 2 to around mile 4.5. Around mile 3 they held a wedding ceremony in New York New York for any runner that wanted to either get married or renew their vows. In order to participate in the wedding, the couple had to be running in the half or in the marathon. I ran past part of the ceremony and it was really cool seeing a group of runners all taking their vows in the middle of a race.
The course just continued straight down the strip, past where the finish line was, and into Downtown Las Vegas. Once in Downtown Las Vegas, the course ran up and down a couple of blocks before turning onto Fremont Street. Mile 9 was reached right before the turn onto Fremont street, where we ran past the “Welcome to Downtown Vegas” sign. The course turned back towards to the Las Vegas Strip off of Fremont Street, and ended at The Mirage.
The course was nice and flat and only had a gain/loss of 150 feet in elevation for the whole course. The only tough part of the course was the last 4 miles. I was running at a really steady pace the whole time, and was feeling really good, I had plenty of energy, nothing was really hurting, it was great. And then the last 4 miles came along and the wind was blowing against everyone. Luckily the wind wasn’t constantly terrible, but it blew really hard quite frequently. I knew I didn’t have much left and that I was feeling really good, so I just pushed myself that much harder to get to the finish as quickly as possible.
This race is also a really tough race to do for time. Originally I was hoping that I might be able PR in this race, but it is seriously impossible to do. There are so many people in this race, and everyone is everywhere. It was hard to pass people at times too because a lot of people just walk this race, and everyone’s paces were different so it was difficult to weave in and out of people. I did mention there are a lot of people in this race right? Because there was so many that even when I crossed the finish line, people were still just passing the finish line on the opposite side of the strip, which was between miles 4 and 5.
I am not positive on my official race time, but I know it was somewhere around 2 ½ hours, which isn’t my best, but also isn’t my worst. I will say though that I felt the best after this race than I have after any of the other half’s I have completed. It was definitely a cool race to run in, and I would definitely do it again if I ever have the chance to go again!